Friday, October 29, 2010

Good Deed #24: Voting

Recently I've been procrastinating. Let's face it, this blog is a great example. And while I'm trying to play catch up, I've allowed my procrastination to spill into other areas of my life. Next Tuesday is the general elections, 6 emails, 3 fax machine attempts and $18 later, I have cast my absentee ballot. I don't know if my vote is worth $18 but I know my freedom to vote is priceless. It was surprising to walk around work today asking my colleagues if they had voted and to receive negative responses. It is because voting (especially in mid-term elections) is so rare that I consider it not only a good deed but my patriotic duty. Apathy has taken hold in our country. We are becoming more reliant on others to do things for us. We feel that we have less influence and control over our own destinies. We are fast moving towards a country of whiners and complainers instead of a Nation of problem solvers, doers and believers. Hope may have died on that historic day two years ago when we saw our President elected. In return, we've been cursed by a disease of resentment, finger pointing and pessimism. Those same people who see the country's glass as being half empty, I'm willing to bet are the same ones who wouldn't bother trying to vote.

Absentee voting in the military is not too difficult. I've been doing it for years. But when the clerk at the post office tells you that in order to guarantee delivery for Monday morning the cost will be $18...well then you start to get a "values" gut check at the door. I can't put a price on what that ballot means for me. Go ahead and ask Afghanis who risk being shot or blown up on their way to the polling station what the "freedom to vote means." It's your civil right to vote. And if you're worried about the future of the country and want to effect change, it's your obligation!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Good Deed #23: Combined Federal Campaign

Each year government employees have the opportunity to donate to thousands of charities via the "Combined Federal Campaign" fund. Since non-profit organizations are not allowed to solicit from government employees throughout the year, annually they are given the opportunity to donate to a charity of their choosing. This year I decided to give a portion of my salary each month to the Wounded Warriors Fund and two charities that fight hunger. I am so thankful for those warriors who have put themselves in harms way so that I can maintain my way of life. I am also appalled that with all that we have as Americans that we can still allow people to go hungry each day. It doesn't add up and it doesn't make sense. I wish I could do more and I know that I'll have to start donating my time at a soup kitchen eventually. But for now, I hope I have reached some of you and perhaps even compelled a few of you to think about what you ate for dinner (or what you didn't eat) and ask yourself if people in this country should go to bed hungry?